Five Little Words

31 July 2008

paternity test

For some time now, tales have circulated that John Reid Edwards has fathered a child by a mistress. A specific alleged mistress has certainly had a child, but an Andrew Young (not Andrew Jackson Young jr, the famous activist and politician), a friend of Edwards, has claimed to be the father.

Young could do a lot to quash the claims that Edwards is the real father, and rescue Edwards' foundering political career, by the expedient of a paternity test — well, that is to say that Young could do this if he is truly the father. And, if Young is not sure that he is the father, but Edwards is sure that he is not the father, then Edwards could take the paternity test.

Of course, that's not happening. For some reason.

illegal campaign contribution

Meanwhile, the National Enquirer, which has been the doing most of the investigating and reporting (with the rest of the media generally ignoring the story or reporting on the reporting) now reports that a wealthy supporter of Edwards has been providing $15,000 per month to the mistress, and unspecified sums to Andrew Young.

Unlike the Enquirer, I wouldn't call this hush money. (We have little basis for presuming that the alleged mistress or Young would speak-out if not paid.) But, if Edwards is the father and thus would presumably be otherwise be bearing some of these costs, then these payments are a campaign contribution, well in excess of legal limits.

Now, personally, I'm opposed to limits on campaign contribution — they are a gross violation of the First Amendment to the Constitution — except that the politicians who themselves effected those limits should be bound by them.

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